SpaceX CEO Elon Musk noted that it would likely take about six to eight weeks to get the infrastructure prepared before Starship could launch again, at least from a pad standpoint. Musk shared the update in a recent Twitter Spaces conversation.
During the Twitter Spaces session, Elon Musk noted that the outcome of the Starship flight test was generally in line with his expectations and perhaps even slightly exceeded them. Musk reiterated his previous point that, overall, Starship’s goal in its first test flight was really just to clear the pad.
“The outcome was roughly in line with what I expected, and maybe slightly exceeding my expectations, but roughly what I expected, which is that we would get clear of the pad,” Musk said, noting that “I’m glad to report that the pad damage is actually quite small” and that it should be “repaired quickly.”
The April 20th launch of Starship ended up very dramatic, with the vehicle causing damage to SpaceX’s South Texas launchpad as it launched. Musk noted that when the rocket’s engines reached full thrust, it likely shattered the concrete. The CEO noted that SpaceX “certainly didn’t expect” Starship to destroy the concrete under the launchpad.
Musk highlighted that the goal of the test flight was just to gather as much information as possible, and in that sense, the mission was a success. In the next flight, Musk noted that SpaceX would like Starship to make it to staging and possibly even reach orbit. Overall, Musk stated that there’s an 80% probability of reaching orbit with Starship this year and a “close to 100% chance of reaching orbit within 12 months.”
Starship does seem to be a promising vehicle, with Musk noting that even in the vehicle’s first test flight, the spacecraft’s structural margins were impressive. “The vehicle’s structural margins appear to be better than we expected, as we can tell from the vehicle actually doing somersaults towards the end and still staying intact,” Musk noted.
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